Just got back from Iowa and here’s a link to podcasts of candidates addressing Iowa farm crowds. For a crash course in what’s going on in farmland, listen in!
Steve Jeffery was an attorney for Missouri’s Department of Natural Resources when he first learned about Confined Animal Feeding Operations and their impact on the land, people and democracy. Today, he spends much of his time defending communities that face CAFO intrusion. In this podcast, he talks about how CAFO corporations change laws to avoid responsibility for pollution and the health problems that follow CAFOs into a neighborhood. This podcast also traces how the governor changed the composition of the Clean Water Commission, handing it–and our right to clean water–to the livestock industry.
In part two of the conversation with Steve Jeffery, he traces other changes in Missouri law due to influence of the hog industry. With commodity groups like the Missouri Farm Bureau, Corn Growers, Soybean Council and others lobbying every day for changes, democracy is at risk.
Scott Dye is an organizer for the Socially Responsible Agriculture Project, or S-RAP, working in the northern tier of U.S. states. In this podcast, he talks about loss of his rural neighborhood when a large Chinese corporation took over the CAFOs that had already changed life in the community. And he talks about how CAFO corporations change laws in order to get their way. With an estimated 25% of pork production in the U.S. controlled by Chinese corporations, listeners need to get informed about the impact of foreign ownership on our land and on our democracy.
Diane Rosenberg heads up the longstanding Iowa group Jefferson County Friends and Neighbors. They have been effective in keeping the number of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations down in their county despite the takeover of most of the rest of Iowa. City people as well as rural residents have a stake in this battle as the pollution from thousands of hogs travels downstream for miles until it gets to a city processing site for clean-up. Thus, city water users are paying for CAFO clean-up. Rosenberg’s group is joining with others to demand a moratorium on new CAFOs in Iowa, and they have a few lawmakers on their side as the issues grow.
Organizers Susan Williams and Tena Potts: Two of the founders of Opponents to Cooper County CAFOs in Cooper County, Missouri, these women are taking their case to Missouri’s Supreme Court. Until very recently, Missouri has been home to only one giant corporation—Smithfield, which is owned by the Chinese government. With all the pollution in Iowa, Missouri citizens are finding themselves in industry’s crosshairs. A generation of corrupt lawmakers, beholden to the hog industry, has whittled away environmental and health protections, but citizens like Williams and Potts are fighting back.